The recent episode of three shameless Karnataka ministers watching porn in ‘Vidhana Soudha‘ has only made explicit what is known to everybody. The truth is that majority of the legislators who also become a part of the executive do not have even an iota of what it takes to be a people’s representative. Leadership does not require a doctorate degree, does not have any class relation, does not dictate any gender requirement and does not require any unique ‘genes’ (an euphemism for dynastic politics). What leadership requires is a sense of determination to solve people’s problems and a sense of responsibility towards the people who the representatives represent. I am not aware of the legal implications of watching porn in India at this point of time but it is my general opinion from my experience that watching porn is no longer considered a taboo. The rider is that it is watched in private and probably with someone special. All I can say is that some anti social elements are out there occupying ‘sacred’ positions of power which is a great danger to our parliamentary democracy.
I once asked a question about the role of civil servants to Mr. Jayaprakash Narayan, leader of Lok Satta Party. He told me that the civil servants are like a well bred horse but they are only as good or as bad as their jockey who happens to be the elected representative. There is a lot of truth associated with this statement. Of course, some of you may question about the cases of good jockeys and bad horses but good jockeys often select the ‘right’ horse. There are tainted ministers and tainted legislators. It sends chills across my spline that someday I will have to work with such rogue elements.
But a new sense of courage has overcome my fears. The recent cases of IAS officers being hunted by the Central Bureau of Investigation for making blatantly wrong decisions has reinforced the rule of law. Though the law can be selectively or randomly applied, there is at least a chance of the law taking its course and punishing the guilty. The Andhra Pradesh IAS officer’s association shamelessly passed a resolution that the ministers and politicians should also be held accountable. The answer is: Yes, even they will be held accountable some day if the arrested officers have the guts to name the politicians who coaxed them to do wrong acts. If you are wondering how these cases have provided me courage. Simple, they tell me that budging under political pressure can land me in jail and that corruption is no longer a low risk, high profit activity.
If the jockey commands the horse to cross a deep river, will the horse jump into the river? The same question was being asked in a crude manner by the Chief Minister of Karnataka who seems to have summoned the District Commissioner of Udupi district where a rave party was being organized recently by the district administration. The District Commissioner seems to have explained his helplessness to obey the order of the local Member of Legislative Assembly. The Chief Minister seems to have asked him the following question: The local MLA will ask you to eat ‘shit‘. Will you eat? (Sorry for using a profane word but I am in no mood of following all the niceties of English language). The same kind of explanation seems to hold good for Siddharth Behura, the former telecom secretary who is lodged in Tihar Jail along with the infamous ‘Raja’. His fault lies in signing the controversial licenses of 2008 2G scam. This he did inspite of his predecessor not signing those licenses and recording his disagreement with the policies of the minister in the file notings. Behura seems to have told the court that the principle of ministerial responsibility requires that only the minister be responsible for all the policy decisions which the court promply rejected and denied him a bail. It is common sense that one cannot hide under the garb of ministerial responsibility by aiding in making illegal and unconstitutional decisions.
Some day if I happen to be such a horse and if my jockey asks me to perform some unconstitutional move, then this horse will surely teach its jockey a lesson because this is a horse with ‘conscience’ and a horse which understands the ‘Constitution of India‘.